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TALKING POINTS

Walmart sells Shoes.com to private equity firm

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

SHOES

Walmart sells Shoes.com to private equity firm

Walmart Inc. has sold its Boston-based Shoes.com business to private equity firm CriticalPoint Capital LLC for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 1999 as ShoeBuy, Shoes.com was one of the earliest online sellers of footwear. When Walmart acquired ShoeBuy nearly four years ago, 200-plus people worked for the company. A Walmart spokesman declined to say how many work for Shoes.com today. He said Walmart has successfully grown its assortment of shoes on its primary website, Walmart.com, since the acquisition, and Shoes.com is ready for a new chapter that allows it to focus solely on continuing its own growth. CPC already has made other investments in the footwear industry, including with the acquisitions of the JackRabbit running-shoe retailer and the Maine-based Olympia Sports chain. Shoes.com president John Foristall said CPC’s experience and relationships with key footwear brands makes it an ideal partner for Shoes.com’s next phase of growth as a standalone operation. — JON CHESTO

BANKING

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Shares in Eastern Bank soar in first day of trading

Shares in Eastern Bank’s new holding company soared more than 21 percent to $12.15 on Thursday, the first day of trading for the stock, after the bank raised about $1.8 billion in an initial public offering. Eastern, which was the state’s largest mutual bank by far, has converted to a publicly traded bank, under the Eastern Bankshares Inc. name, and is trading as EBC on the Nasdaq Global Select market. Through the IPO, Eastern sold 179 million shares at $10 per share. Chief executive Robert Rivers said in June that one of the biggest drivers for going public was to obtain enough capital to make larger bank acquisitions, the kind of deal-making that is difficult as a mutual bank. The Boston-based bank has more than $14 billion in assets, 110-plus branches and insurance offices, and more than 1,800 employees. —JON CHESTO

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INDUSTRY

GE pledges to become carbon neutral by 2030

General Electric chief executive Larry Culp pledged on Thursday to make its operations carbon neutral by 2030, collectively across more than 1,000 facilities around the world. So far, the manufacturer has reduced the greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 21 percent, from 2011 to 2019. GE said achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 will provide an environmental benefit equal to taking a half-million cars off the road for one year. The company will implement a wide range of changes, ranging from upgrading HVAC systems to installing LED lighting, to procuring renewable sources of electricity and cutting back on waste. Culp said GE has been doing this work for years, but the carbon-neutral goal will prompt the company to step up its efforts. — JON CHESTO

TELEVISION

Iconic Rudolph and Santa go on the auction block

Rudolph and his still-shiny nose are getting a new home, and it’s bound to be a lot nicer than the Island of Misfit Toys. The soaring reindeer and Santa Claus figures who starred in in the perennially beloved stop-motion animation Christmas special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” are going up for auction. Auction house Profiles in History announced Thursday that a 6-inch-tall Rudolph and 11-inch-tall Santa used to animate the 1964 TV special are being sold together in the auction that starts Nov. 13 and are expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

MORTGAGES

Rates fall to a new all-time low

Long-term mortgage rates fell this week as the key 30-year loan reached a new all-time low for the tenth time this year. Home loan rates have marked a year-long decline amid economic anxiety in the recession set off by the coronavirus pandemic. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year mortgage fell to 2.81 percent from 2.8 percent last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.69 percent a year ago. The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 2.35 percent from 2.37 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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EXERCISE

Peloton sued by NordicTrack over new bike features

Peloton Interactive Inc. was sued for patent infringement by Icon Health & Fitness Inc., the maker of the NordicTrack bike, escalating the legal tussle between the two fitness equipment companies. The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in federal court in Delaware, is built around patent infringement claims for two features Peloton added to an exercise bike released in September: a swiveling touchscreen and automatic change of resistance levels during classes. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

BARS

Your favorite place in NYC may be gone

When New York City emerges from what could be another surge in virus cases, many residents won’t even be able to celebrate at their local bar. Recent data from Womply show that 43 percent of the city’s bars were closed on Oct. 5 and spending at the ones still open was down 80 percent from the corresponding day a year earlier. While the data only includes the single date of Oct. 5, the snapshot is representative of the overall trend this year, according to Womply, a provider of business software and services. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

BOOKSELLERS

Barnes & Noble informs customers of data breach

Barnes & Noble said the personal information of its shoppers may have been stolen after its computer systems were hacked. The bookseller told customers in an e-mail Wednesday that hackers could have had access to their e-mail address, name, phone number, home address, and a list of books or other products they have purchased. The company said hackers didn’t access credit card numbers and other payment information because it was encrypted. Barnes & Noble said it learned of the hack on Oct. 10. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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PHARMACEUTICALS

Few will ever get the antibody cocktail that Trump received

The antibody cocktail that President Trump credited for his swift coronavirus recovery won’t become widely available because it’s impossible to make enough for everyone who might need it, according to the Swiss pharmaceutical giant working on scaling up production. “We’ll never be able to produce enough,” said Bill Anderson, drugs chief at Roche Holding AG, which is working together with US biotech Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. on the project. “This is clearly part of the answer for the world, not the answer. Hopefully we’ll have vaccines and other therapeutics.” The partners will probably be able to make as many as 2 million doses per year by the end of next March if the drug cocktail wins regulatory approval, Anderson said. That’s about the number of new COVID-19 cases identified worldwide in the past week. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

AVIATION

Ryanair blames cancelled flights on governments botching virus response

Ryanair became the latest European airline to announce big reductions in its winter schedule after coronavirus-related travel restrictions were reimposed across the continent. Casting the blame on European governments for “mishandling” air travel during the pandemic, the Ireland-based budget airline said Thursday that it will cut around a third of its flight routes this winter. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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